+1. Sounds like self-flagellation to me, but I'm not yet convinced we aren't being trolled (see above).
As I said, I do need to maintain the clothes I have, and some clothes, like shirts and ties, deteriorate and must be periodically replaced. So ideas about where to find good buys and what makes clothes last longer are always useful. In other words, as a human I am interested in clothing, but not in "style" or "fashion". My style and fashion are determined by the need to fit in at work.
I spend money on food, transportation, electricity... same as everyone else. I think the big difference is that I spend very little on hobbies, including clothing, or entertainment. I like to read, but much of what I read is available for free at the library, or academic papers downloaded for free. I rarely go to movies. In a typical year I will not have seen any movie nominated for an Academy Award. I have certainly gone periods of longer than a year without going to a movie theater at all. Many of the books I want to read are outside copyright protection, and available online for free.
People hang out at the Mercedes dealership, at the tailors, at Brooks Brothers, or on SF with others who spend lots of money on clothes, and they start feeling that this is normal and responsible behavior. Needless to say, I drive a nineteen year old Volvo. When it stops providing safe reliable transportation I will replace it with a "new" used car.
Saving and investment are the same thing. I save money because I think it is the responsible thing to do. I save against the possibility that I, my family, or my charities may need that money at some time in the future. I would be very unhappy if I were to lose my job, or we have a real Depression. But because I consume at the level of people with fewer resources, I could tolerate a period of unemployment or a major drop in income better than most. I find the low savings rate in the US terrifying. Even more frightening when we consider that this low savings rate does not take into account the $1 trillion dollars a year the federal government is borrowing to support consumption.
I guess that is my point. Most people cannot afford to buy the things that I choose not to buy although I could. They do not seem to live miserable lives. I have eaten at fancy restaurants for business when I am not paying. I don't think I am missing anything by not patronizing such places. I really like my reading, taking online courses for free, taking walks. I lived like this as a student (except for the online part, which did not exist), and do not think I was deprived then, nor do I feel deprived now.
For most people in this very wealthy country spending thousands of dollars on a bespoke suit is so completely out of the question that it never crosses their minds. Are satisfying lives dependent on this level of consumption, and therefore only available to those at the top of the wealth distribution? I know plenty of people with far lower incomes who do not do foreign vacations, fancy restuarants, or bespoke clothing. Perhaps they are putting on brave fronts, but their suffering is not apparent.
I suppose I am lucky in that I sincerely don't want a lot of the things on which some people spend a lot of money. Take the example of the JLC watches. They are beautiful. They are works of art. But it would be impossible for me to justify spending 1% that much on a watch. It is ultimately a time-telling device. I have a time-telling device that works even better than a JLC. As my wife and kids know, one of my favorite expressions is "it is paid for".
I love classical music. But I know that most people don't. In this free, if indebted, country people can choose their music. It does not bother me that pop stars are better known and more highly paid than the best classical musicians. As I said, I am quite happy with student concerts.
But enough. I am getting the same reaction I got on the other thread. It is one thing to like clothes. But when you get upset that someone else does not share this passion, perhaps you are taking it too seriously.
Wow! I mean WOW!
I was planning on droping this, since it upsets people so much. But I don't see how anything I said could be interpreted that way.
First, I don't use profanity. That does not make me superior to you. But it does mean that the language I quoted is not something I ever would say.
I envy people who enjoy things so much that they can know that spending an amount of money they can afford will give them enough pleasure to make it worth it. For me, I would be so worried and guilty about the cost, and my belief that the shirt/suit/trip whatever could not be worth that much that I would not enjoy it. As I said, it is a free country, people can and should spend their money as they chose.
Of course, this thread is specifically about consumerism. So I offered an opinion about consumerism. Obviously many vocal people on here do not share my opinion. Apparently some believe that those who do not share their opinions should avoid this site. But as I indicated one might find discussions of clothing interesting and useful, even if they do not choose to chase expensive designer/MTM/bespoke clothing.
I find the talior thread fascinating. I had no idea the level of skill and detail that goes into fitting suits. I had no idea how easy it is for an experienced tailor to identify fit problems, and to determine whether and how they can be fixed. I found it fascinating to read an explanation of why one should not steam a suit- ruins the tailoring done with ironing. I find DWFII's posts on shoe construction endlessly fascinating. I will never buy a pair of shoes or boots from him- I would consider doing so unjustifiably indulgent. But I am sure they would be beautifully made by an artisan who has studied construction of footwear for decades and makes the best he possibly can.
I can appreciate these things without feeling the need to own them. I don't think an expensive suit, a fancy watch, or an expensive car make me a better person. I doubt that they would make me feel better having them. I do worry, daily, about the economic future of the country, and how we would survive another Depression.
So when I buy clothing I go cheap, on sale, and more recently used. My wife's father was a child of the Depression. Although he was a very successful professional, he had a job that did not require the level of clothing that mine does. Seeing him wear his clothes until they fell apart I don't think he or others of his generation would have found my approach at all odd.
But do I think I am superior to others because I don't want these expensive things, and I don't buy them? No. Being a better person requires something more than not wasting money. Everyone is anonymous on this blog. I have no basis for judging anyone (unlike those who are piling on to judge me). I don't know how you treat your employees, how much time to give to charity, how to treat strangers, and the care you take of your children. Knowing that I don't know that, how could I decide I am superior?
Now, having apologized on your behalf for your placing insulting words in my mouth, I am finished with this topic. It is a free country, spend your money as you wish.